Ch. 03: Your Car

Even with mass transportation such as subways and the city bus, most people still opt to commute to work using their cars. While this is convenient, it can also be costly. In addition, owning a car is an expensive venture. If you live near some coworkers, consider doing a carpool. Carpools are a good way to save on gas and on wear and tear to your car. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get to know your fellow coworkers. If you drive to and from work, make sure your tires are properly inflated at the factory recommended PSI. Studies have shown that underinflated tires can waste gas, and causes extra wear on your tires. By ensuring that your tires are inflated properly, you can save on gas usage and on the tires themselves. While getting an oil change can sometimes be time-consuming, it is absolutely imperative to the longevity of your car. Make sure you get your oil changed every few thousand miles. Most local garages offer oil change specials and have coupons in the local newspaper. National chains also usually offer oil change discounts through printable coupons online. Properly maintaining your car can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and extend the overall life of your car. Another secret many people might not be aware of is that some national auto parts stores will change your car battery for no charge if you buy the battery at their store. Premium gas costs more but really offers little benefits to your car. If you use regular unleaded, you’re probably paying several cents less per gallon, and getting the same results. Another important rule of thumb for car owners is to avoid taking your vehicle back to the dealer for repairs. Dealerships have been known to charge much more for the same work, and often tend to “find” more wrong with your car. Instead, take your car to a small, independent shop with a good reputation. Ask friends for some advice or recommendations on a good mechanic. You can replace simple things like headlights, wiper blades, and air filters yourself for a fraction of the cost. Also, be sure to change out your antifreeze each winter.